The Beginning of the Tabernacle
Key Verse: “The cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”
THE FINAL LESSON IN Exodus deals with the erection of Israel’s Tabernacle. God commanded that it should be set up on the first day of the year, which was approximately twelve months after the Israelites departed from Egypt. He also informed Moses where each piece of furniture should be placed.—Exod. 40:1-8
Additionally, instructions were given for anointing Aaron and his sons to minister in connection with the Tabernacle arrangement. In these instructions were provided details for the dedication ceremony and inauguration of the priesthood.—vss. 14-16; Lev. 8:1-9,24
As a faithful servant of God, Moses carried out the commands he received exactly as he had been directed. The Scriptures inform us that the visible Tabernacle associated with Israel’s center of worship pictured heavenly realities that pertain to the Gospel Age church as well as the entire human family in the future.—Exod. 40:18-33; Heb. 9:23-27; Rev. 21:1-5
God manifested his approval of the Tabernacle’s assembly by causing a cloud to descend, and his glory filled the Tabernacle of meeting so that Moses could not enter therein. This cloud was to accompany the Israelites on all their journeys. They were to move only when it moved, and wherever it stopped, they were to remain there until it moved again.—Exod. 40:34-37
Our Key Verse emphasizes God’s abiding providence upon the children of Israel. They were to realize that his divine presence was manifested by this cloud during the day, as well as by a pillar of fire that gave them light at night.
Moses was a prominent servant appointed by God to serve as the leader of Israel when they sought to enter an earthly land of promise. We would do well to reflect upon our privilege as believers in Christ of progressing towards a heavenly Canaan, with the prospect of helping to bless the human family when God’s kingdom is established on the earth.
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”—Heb. 3:1-6
We can be pleasing to God by obedience to these Scriptural teachings as part of our transformation process. As we continue to complete our pilgrimage in the flesh, let our epitaph reflect that we heeded his counsel and were “doers of the word, and not hearers only.”—James 1:22